Stoke City manager Mark Hughes accepts referee Anthony Taylor was correct to send him to the stands during his team’s 4-0 Premier League thrashing at home to Tottenham on Saturday.
Hughes was furious at a booking handed to his winger Marko Arnautovic for simulation and his angry reaction towards fourth official Jon Moss led to Taylor giving the Welshman his marching orders.
The match was goalless at that time, but in Hughes’ absence his team crumbled, with Son Heung-min breaking the deadlock shortly before the break.
The South Korea international doubled Spurs’ lead after the interval and Dele Alli and Harry Kane were also on target to pile on the misery for Hughes, who admitted he was in the wrong.
“I was out of order to be perfectly honest and I will admit that,” Hughes said at his post-match media conference.
“I was upset because the assistant referee didn’t raise a flag for the initial foul on Jonathan Walters, and then Marko had to take evasive action to get out of a high challenge and then he gets booked for a dive.
“Okay, I was out of the technical area, which by the letter of the law is a sending-off offence.
“I am sure I recall an opposition manager in the game this morning [between Manchester United and Manchester City] stepping on to the field of play though, but nothing was done there.
“Maybe, Mr Moss, who was the fourth official, was a little too keen to emphasise and enforce the new directives, which we have been exposed to on several occasions already this season.”
Stoke are rock bottom of the Premier League after taking just one point from their four matches and Hughes accepted his team are struggling defensively, having conceded 10 goals.
“I thought we started brightly enough in the first half, and we were as good as them, but we allowed them to get the opening goal again,” Hughes said.
“It is difficult when you concede the first goal at home because there is an onus on you to chase the game somewhat.
“We aren’t very good at the moment to be perfectly honest and we are allowing ourselves to get caught by being too open.
“You have got to give yourself a foothold in the game, keep a foothold in the game and then that will allow you the chances to get back on terms. When momentum starts to shift away from you then you have to recognise that and ride it out.
“At the moment we are going behind in games, chasing them and then not doing the ugly stuff – that has to change.”